£29m for Transport Schemes to Boost the Economy
Transport Minister, Edwina Hart, has announced nearly £29m funding for transport schemes across Wales to improve safety, create economic growth and promote active travel.
Welsh Government LogoThe announcement was made during a visit by the Minister to the construction site of the final phase of the new Morfa Distributor Road in Swansea. The £5.6m scheme will receive a £1.15m grant from the Local Transport Fund in 2016/17. The new road will improve access to jobs and services, open the area up to further economic development, and reduce congestion and air quality problems on the A4067 Neath Road. New walking and cycling links will also be built alongside the road.
Mrs Hart said:
“I am very pleased to announce the Welsh Government will be funding the completion of this important new road. By improving access to jobs and services, creating economic growth, reducing congestion and supporting active travel this is an excellent example of the type of scheme we are funding with £17.6m worth of Local Transport Fund grants in the next financial year. The money will be used to fund 38 different road, public transport and active travel projects across Wales.
“In addition I am today announcing nearly £11m to fund more than 70 schemes to improve road safety and create safe walking and cycling routes in communities all over Wales.”
Rob Stewart, Leader of Swansea Council, said:
The Morfa Distributor Road scheme forms a major part in our plans to regenerate the River Tawe corridor.
“The completion of the scheme a year ahead of schedule will assist us in unlocking further development in the area and make it more accessible for the public. It will also assist in diverting some transport away from Neath Road in Hafod.
“The grant funding we have been awarded for other local schemes means we can also provide safer roads and walking routes for many of our residents in Swansea.”
Other major investments include:
£1.498m for the A48-A473 link road to improve access to the Waterton Industrial Estate, Bridgend
£1.12m for the Port Talbot integrated transport hub next to Parkway Railway Station
£1.75m towards the construction of Stage 1 and Stage 2 and scheme development for Stage 3 of the Llangefni Link Road.
The grants have been awarded through four different funds, from which local authorities can bid for money to support their projects.
A total of 38 schemes across 22 local authorities and the development of active travel maps will be funded by £17.6m from the Local Transport Fund. A total of nearly £5.02m has been allocated to 30 schemes across 20 local authorities through the Safe Routes in Communities fund for walking and cycling routes.
Nearly £3.94million will be distributed in grants from the Road Safety Capital fund to 43 schemes across 17 local authorities.
All 22 local authorities in Wales receive a share of £1,936,741 from the Road Safety Revenue fund for road safety training programmes such as Kerbcraft, PassPlus Cymru, National Standard Cycle Training and motorcyclist training.
The Minister also announced funding of £210,000 for the establishment of an Independent Traffic Commissioner for Wales. The Welsh Government is currently in discussions with the UK Government to establish the post and this funding would allow that to go ahead if an agreement is reached.
The funding is made up of £150,000 to put in place a new full-time Commissioner supported by three full-time, bilingual staff accommodated in Wales and a further £60,000 one-off costs for the recruitment process and fit-out the accommodation.
Mrs Hart said:
“The Welsh Government is committed to establishing an Independent Traffic Commissioner for Wales and I am pleased we can now confirm the funding is available for this post. We will continue to work with the UK Government over the devolution of the post with a view to begin recruitment before the end of the next financial year.”
Wales is currently covered by the Traffic Commissioner for Wales and the west Midlands in the Department of Transport. The commissioner’s responsibilities include the licensing of the operators of Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) and of buses and coaches known as Public Service Vehicles (PSVs); registration of local bus services and granting vocational licenses and taking action against drivers of HGVs and PSVs.